Ogier to make WRC return at Rally New Zealand

Eight-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier will rejoin the World Rally Championship, following confirmation of an outing at Rally New Zealand later this month.

Ogier to make WRC return at Rally New Zealand

Ogier will once again pilot the third factory Toyota GR Yaris, he has been sharing with Esapekka Lappi, for New Zealand’s return to the WRC for the first time since 2012.

The Frenchman had previously told Autosport that New Zealand was on his wishlist of events to contest this season in his partial WRC campaign this year.

Event organisers have confirmed this morning that Ogier and co-driver Benjamin Veillas will contest the 29 September-2 October event held on New Zealand’s famous gravel roads around Auckland.

“Rally New Zealand was on the top of the list of rallies that I wanted to do this year,” said Ogier.

“I have only done this rally once before. The rally itself is really beautiful. Your roads are one of the best in the world for rallying. And I fell in love with the diverse and beautiful nature of the country.”

Ogier says he has unfinished business in New Zealand after missing out on what would have been his maiden WRC win there in 2010. Ogier held a six-second lead heading into the final stage that year before a spin three corners from the end handed then rival and now Toyota team boss Jari-Matti Latvala the win.

“It was tough to take back in 2010 because I was chasing my first win. It is always a very important step in your career,” he added.

Sebastien Ogier arrives at the end of the final stage having damaged his car and lost victory by 2.4s in the 2010 Rally New Zealand

Sebastien Ogier arrives at the end of the final stage having damaged his car and lost victory by 2.4s in the 2010 Rally New Zealand

Photo by: Sutton Images

“I was lucky that three weeks later I had my first win at Rally Portugal so I did not have to wait too long.

“There is still some unfinished business in New Zealand and another reason to come back. Even if I am not competing full-time, I expect to be competitive and hopefully enjoy more victories in the future.

“The rally roads in New Zealand are magic to drive. In Europe we do not have this camber on the roads where you are dancing along the road and it has a nice flow to drive. That is so attractive to a rally driver.”

The event will be Ogier’s fourth WRC appearance this year after finishing second in Monte Carlo and fourth in Kenya, which sandwiched finishing 51st at Rally Portugal in May.

shares
comments
UK set to miss out as expanded 2023 WRC calendar progresses
Previous article

UK set to miss out as expanded 2023 WRC calendar progresses

Next article

WRC Acropolis Rally Greece: Everything you need to know

WRC Acropolis Rally Greece: Everything you need to know
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022
Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life Plus

Inside Toyota’s new WRC dream factory where rally conquerers come to life

Toyota locked out the top four places in the World Rally Championship's recent Safari Rally Kenya in a clear indication of its GR Yaris Rally1 hybrid's pace and durability. Autosport was recently given a tour of the new factory where its cars are designed, tested and built, and it reveals much about the commitment of the Japanese marque to continued WRC success

WRC
Aug 19, 2022
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022